Description: Beautifully marked with bright blacks, reds, and yellows. To identify the species, remember that when red touches yellow it is a coral snake.
Characteristics: Common over range, but secretive in its habits, therefore seldom seen. It has short fangs that are fixed in an erect position. It often chews to release its venom into a wound. Its venom is very powerful. The venom is neurotoxic, causing respiratory paralysis in the victim, who succumbs to suffocation.
Habitat: Found in a variety of habitats including wooded areas, swamps, palmetto and scrub areas. Coral snakes often venture into residential locations.
Length: Average 60 centimeters (24 inches), maximum 115 centimeters (45 inches).
Distribution: Southeast United States and west to Texas. Another genus of coral snake is found in Arizona. Coral snakes are also found throughout Central and most of South America (Figure E-9).
Figure E-9. Coral Snake Habitat